Questions You Should Ask Your Surgeon About Breast Reconstruction

What breast size be best for me?

It may sound vain, but it’s really not — choosing the size of your new breast implants for reconstruction can be overwhelming. There are several things to take into consideration: your body frame, the history of your cancer, and your journey. You may want to choose a smaller size, or you may be looking for something larger. It’s important to know that there’s a lot more involved than just aesthetics; reconstructing your breasts also affects your physical movement, and it’s important to consult your surgeon on what they think and ask as many questions as you need to ensure you make a decision you are happy with.

What will the scarring be like?

Scarring after breast reconstruction is something that varies by individual, the type of cancer you have and the body’s response to the surgery. You need to be comfortable with your surgeon and ensure that he/she is excellent in administering breast reconstructive surgery. An excellent example of this is Dr Peter Laniewski breast surgery who has over twenty years of advanced surgical training and experience in Sydney.

Your surgeon should be able to advise you on the scarring associated with different reconstruction options, as well as your body’s anticipated response to the surgery.  It’s about utilising their expert opinion to minimise scarring and make sure you are aware of what your reconstructed breasts will look like.

What do I need post-surgery?

As with all surgeries, unless you have undergone it before, it can be challenging to know what to expect. What do I need to bring to the hospital? What type of post-surgery bra do I need to wear? Where can I buy them? How should I ‘maintain’ my newly reconstructed breasts? There are a lot of unknowns, which, if left unanswered, can create a lot of additional stress. Dedicate some time to writing out all the questions related to your surgery and presenting this list to your surgeon.

What complications are involved in the surgery?

All surgical procedures have associated risks, and with breast reconstruction, there’s a small possibility of complications. Each type of breast reconstruction is different — so you need to educate yourself on why your surgeon recommended a particular type of reconstruction over another, and what this means for you.

How long will I need to recover?

No one tells you this, but one of the most challenging aspects of undergoing breast cancer and reconstruction is the amount of leave you need to take off work. Depending on your type of surgery, it can affect how many days off work you need to take to rest, so before undergoing surgery, always ask your surgeon how long you’ll ‘be away from the desk’.  A surgeon will be able to give personalised guidance on what you can expect.

While it can be daunting, the breast reconstruction journey can be made easier when you feel empowered by the decisions you are making.